Tag Archives: Norway

Tory backstabbers are sharpening their knives – but who thought the first would be AMBER RUDD?

Look out behind you! Amber Rudd has been the first to undermine Theresa May.

Conservative MPs are conforming to type – backstabbing their leader in times of trouble.

Public opinion has turned against Theresa May over her disastrous Brexit plan, so her MPs are preparing to push her out of office.

But who would have thought that the first person to undermine her would be Amber Rudd?

Ms Rudd is Mrs May’s trusted lieutenant – the one she sent in to bat for the Tories in a TV debate before the 2017 general election while she ran scared.

It may seem doubly strange that Ms Rudd was the first to plunge the knife in, as she won her Hastings and Rye Parliamentary seat with a majority of just 346 in the 2017 general election, after several recounts, and is likely to lose the seat at the next election.

Still, she took to the airwaves to proclaim a “Plan B” in opposition to Mrs May’s “only plan on the table” – a “Norway-plus” option that would see the UK retain access to the EU’s single market and also join a customs union.

This is what she told BBC Radio 4’s Today programme:

Unfortunately for Ms Rudd, it seems she lacks the judgement needed to choose a workable option – and that’s not a good look for a leader-to-be.

Consider:

It seems more likely that Ms Rudd has sealed her own fate, besides launching the first volley against Mrs May.

But with the prime minister likely to lose the “meaningful vote” at 8.30pm on Tuesday, it’s only a matter of time before more Tory MPs line up to take their shot at her.

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‘Theresa’s way’: Roll over and accept whatever Brexit the EU wants for the UK

Theresa May’s Brexit team is said to have raised no objections to a Norway-style transition deal [Image: EPA].

Isn’t it nice to know your government is keeping you fully informed?

That’s sarcasm, by the way.

This smells like a closed-doors agreement that was going to be sprung on us later because David Davis and Theresa May knew it would infuriate pretty much everyone.

It tells us that the EU has dictated the kind of departure the UK will follow, and the Tory team meekly rolled over and accepted it.

That’s not the British way. It’s pathetic. It’s weak.

It’s Theresa’s way.

The UK has already “agreed in principle” to a Norway-style Brexit transition period in which it accepts all EU rules with no power to shape them, a senior figure in Brussels has told The Independent.

A key member of the European Parliament’s Brexit team said British negotiators raised no objections to the plans, which would mean accepting free movement and customs union rules, and falling under the European Court’s jurisdiction.

The suggestion that Theresa May’s team has all but swallowed the transition proposal from Brussels will anger Conservative MPs, who believe it leaves Britain a “vassal state” for some two years after Brexit.

Source: UK has already ‘agreed in principle’ to Norway-style Brexit transition


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Norwegian model may not be the UK’s answer to single-market access, says Norway

Børge Brende: ‘There has been a consensus in Norway that it is in our interest to be a part of the single market.’ [Image: Mark R. Cristino/EPA.]

Børge Brende: ‘There has been a consensus in Norway that it is in our interest to be a part of the single market.’ [Image: Mark R. Cristino/EPA.]

Mr Brende is very probably correct; the Norwegian model works for Norway because so many of its exports go directly into the EU; UK businesspeople want to expand their markets outside that bloc.

Also, with Norway paying into the EU for access to the single market, and implementing the now-infamous ‘four freedoms’, including free movement of people across borders, ‘Leave’ voters would be justified in asking how, exactly, their wishes would have been obeyed if the UK follows suit.

This Writer is slipping into the belief that, if ‘Brexit’ is to take place, then it must indeed mean ‘Brexit’, as Mrs May is constantly telling us; her ministers should stop trying to negotiate some all-encompassing deal with the European Union as a whole and get down to individual deals with individual member states.

That will certainly mean hiring a few more civil servants – but that is the price a Conservative Government must pay if it is to be considered democratic.

We can judge Mrs May and her gang on their choices.

Britain must understand that there is no “silver bullet” over Brexit that would permit single market access without paying into the EU and being bound by some of its rules, Norway’s foreign minister has warned ahead of a meeting in London.

Børge Brende, who was due to meet his UK counterpart, Boris Johnson, on Monday, as well as the Brexit secretary, David Davis, and the international trade secretary, Liam Fox, said his country’s model of access to the single market without being part of the EU was seen there as a success.

This did not mean it would necessarily work as well for the UK, Brende told BBC Radio 4’s Today programme.

“We were very clear that there is no silver bullet in this context,” he said. “Being a part of the single market, as we are, also means to implement all directives, and we are not in the room when these directives are decided on.

“But there has been a consensus around this in Norway that it is in our interest to be a part of the single market, and that is what we have to contribute. On top of this we also do funding for countries in the EU that are the new members, but also those that are facing the biggest challenges when it comes to development.

Asked if the single market choice facing Britain was the same – to have more control or to be richer – Brende said Norway’s access to the single market since 1992 “had served our country well”, with 70% of its exports going to the EU.

Brende added: “We have also implemented all the four freedoms,” referring to the single market principles of the free movement across borders of goods, people, services and capital.

Source: Norway tells Britain: no Brexit ‘silver bullet’ over single market access | Politics | The Guardian

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Norway is better-off than the UK but Cameron won’t follow its example

Norway: Its mixed economy and low difference between the highest- and lowest-paid workers has made it the most prosperous country in the world. The UK, for all the Tory government's bluster, is 13th. Lucky for some (but not all)!

Norway: Its mixed economy and low wage difference between the highest- and lowest-paid has made it the most prosperous country in the world. The UK, for all the Tory government’s bluster, is 13th. Lucky for some (but not all)!

It seems the Public Relations Prime Minister has put his foot in his mouth – albeit nearly three years ago.

The Guardian has reported that David Cameron is to reiterate his claim that the so-called Norway option for relations with the European Union is not for the UK.

Considering the other things he said about Norway – in a speech to Bloomberg in January 2013 – this seems a very hard position to justify.

“Norway sits on the biggest energy reserves in Europe,” he said. We don’t. We have to buy our energy from foreign countries because the Conservatives closed down our coal mines so we have to buy it from aborad, sold off our energy companies to foreign investors and, most recently, signed a contract allowing China to build and run a nuclear power station here.

It “has a sovereign wealth fund of over €500 billion,” he added. A sovereign wealth fund is a state-owned investment fund, putting money into real or financial assets, and is usually created when a national government has a budgetary surplus and little or no international debt.

The UK doesn’t have a sovereign wealth fund. It has a massive budget deficit and debts totalling £1.5 trillion (and that’s just the headline figure).

Norway is deemed to be the most democratic country in the world. Norwegians enjoy the second-highest GDP per-capita among European countries (after Luxembourg), and the fourth-highest GDP (PPP) per-capita in the world. It ranks as the second-wealthiest country in the world in monetary value, with the largest capital reserve per capita of any nation. Foreign Policy Magazine ranks Norway last in its Failed States Index for 2009, judging it to be the world’s most well-functioning and stable country.

The standard of living in Norway is among the highest in the world.

So why would Cameron be averse to emulating Norway?

Could it be because, economically, Norway is the opposite of everything a Conservative like Cameron holds dear?

Norway runs a mixed economy, a prosperous capitalist welfare state and social democracy country combining free market activity and large state ownership in certain key sectors. UK Conservatives demand that this cannot work and the only way to run a successful economy is to privatise everything (barring the judiciary and the armed forces, if I recall David Cameron’s 2011 Telegraph interview correctly).

Norway has a very low unemployment rate, and nearly one-third of the labour force are employed by the government. Hourly productivity levels, as well as average hourly wages, are among the highest in the world. The country’s egalitarian values have kept the wage difference between the lowest paid worker and the CEO of most companies as much less than in comparable western economies – This Writer’s understanding is that the ratio is something like 1:4.

In the UK, a chief executive may earn many hundreds of times what a zero-hours, minimum-wage worker takes home, and average wages (for working people, not executives) have recently endured their longest period of sustained reduction since the Victorian era. Public sector employment is falling (as is the efficiency of government departments). Despite a much-trumpeted increase in employment levels, productivity in the UK has remained static and taxation income has dropped.

The conclusion is clear. Not only is Norway the antithesis of Cameron’s political philosophy, but it is also practical proof that Cameron’s political philosophy is utter childish drivel that will never work as the basis for running a country.

More to the point, the Norwegian model allows prosperity for all its citizens – and the very thought of that is poison to a Tory like Cameron.

He wants himself and his cronies to enjoy all the pleasures this life can offer – while dealing out all of its agonies to everyone who isn’t in the wealthiest one per cent of the population.

By rejecting the Norwegian model of participation in the European Economic Area (as it is known), Cameron has drawn attention to this.

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